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Would be interested in seeing some Ken Russell films


Stephen44

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I very rarely see his films shown. I don't even know if TCM has ever shown them. I think he's first rate. The Russell films that I have seen are definitely on the edge. The only film that I have recorded of his is "Women in Love", which I must have recorded off HBO or something years ago. I have seen several of his films over the years, including "The Music Lovers", "Tommy", The Devils, Altered States, Gothic and The Lair of the White Worm.

 

In addition to his films I saw two shorter dramas that Russell directed in the mid 60's for the BBC. "Always on Sunday" about the life of the French painter Henri Rousseau. The other drama was "Issadora Duncan, the Biggest Dancer in the World". I saw both of these films in the 70's on PBS. I don't know if they are still available but they are excellent and left a lasting impression on me.

 

All of the Russell films that I have seen have a great deal of energy...Baroque style.

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Of the Russell films that I have seen I tend to enjoy the more conventional ones. "Women in Love" and the two made for BBC tv documentaries that I mentioned. The fringe films like "The Devils" and "Lair of the White Worm" are more challenging to watch but well worth the effort.

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I'm not really a big Ken Russell fan, usually try watching his films out of curiosity, though. I would like to see "Valentino" with Rudolph Nureyev again, because of my dance background and the terrific tango he does with Antony Dowell at the beginning of the film. Haven't seen this in decades, and I can't really remember how bad and/or camp the rest of the film is.

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I'm not really a big Ken Russell fan, usually try watching his films out of curiosity, though. I would like to see "Valentino" with Rudolph Nureyev again, because of my dance background and the terrific tango he does with Antony Dowell at the beginning of the film. Haven't seen this in decades, and I can't really remember how bad and/or camp the rest of the film is.

 

That's another film that I haven't seen. I remember hearing about it. This man has produced a lot of films. I wouldn't categorize his work as Camp. I don't think his work is at all "tongue in cheek". I think his films are energetic, exuberant and silly at times but this is not Warhol silly.

 

Have you seen the BBC Docudrama about Issadora Duncan that he made in the mid 60's? I would be interested in your opinion of this film with your dance background.

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  • 1 month later...

>

> That's another film that I haven't seen. I remember

> hearing about it. This man has produced a lot of

> films. I wouldn't categorize his work as Camp. I

> don't think his work is at all "tongue in cheek". I

> think his films are energetic, exuberant and silly at

> times but this is not Warhol silly.

 

"Lair of the White Worm" is definitely tongue-in-cheek, but on the whole I agree with you. His films, like "The Devils" and "Mahler" and "The Music Lovers" might be over-the-top and outrageously baroque but they're serious films with a serious intent.

 

"****" is a Ken Russell film that rarely gets mentioned - it's well worth a look.

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Russell is an acquired taste. And if you acquire that taste, and I mean a taste for fringe films, not mainstream movies, there is alot to like in his films. The performances from his actors, the cinematography, the lighting, the editing. His "Women in Love" is one of the best edited films, I've ever seen. And sometimes even the writing and costumes.

 

As for "Valentino," it is not his most camp nor least camp. Actually, I can describe only two of his films as camp: "Lair of the White Worm" and "Lisztomania." "Lair of the White Worm" being "good," and "Lisztomania" being "bad," but it is so "bad," it actually may be "good."

 

"Valentino" is not his best nor his worst. While there are other of his films I prefer to watch, by common consent, including my own, "The Devils" is his best. As for his worst, I don't think he has one, as even his worst films have their passionate defenders.

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